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Niagara Falls police officer charged with drug felonies

Stephanie Costanzo faces several drug charges, including two felonies. (Niagara Universitiy)

Stephanie Costanzo faces several drug charges, including two felonies. (Niagara University)

NIAGARA FALLS -  A Niagara Falls police officer faces charges after authorities found cocaine and pain pills at a home she shared with a man targeted in a drug investigation by federal and local law enforcement, officials said Friday.

Stephanie Costanzo, 28, was arrested Wednesday and charged with two felonies - third- and fourth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance – as well as possession of drug paraphernalia and unlawful possession of marijuana, Niagara Falls police said in a news release.

Costanzo is a uniformed patrol officer and has been on the force in the Falls for three years, according to the department.

Costanzo was arrested following an investigation that resulted in two other arrests, though police said she was not a target of the investigation. Two men were arrested Wednesday following a joint investigation by Falls police and the Drug Enforcement Administration, police said.

"Costanzo's charges resulted from property found during a search warrant executed at a Niagara Falls home she shared" with one of the two men who were arrested.

Those two men are Raymond Hopson, 32, and Lindsey Carrier, 31. Costanzo shared a home with Hopson, police said.

Niagara Falls police said in a statement that Costanzo is not suspected of any wrongdoing while on duty, "nor is there any indication that she used her position to further any illegal activity."

Costanzo has been suspended by the department and was released on her own recognizance, the department said. The suspension is without pay, according to the department.

Hopson and Carrier were each charged with second-degree conspiracy, third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, second-degree possession of drug paraphernalia and unlawful possession of marijuana, according to authorities.

Hopson was also charged with second-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance and fourth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, authorities said. Carrier was also charged with second- and seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, authorities said.

Both are being held without bail and have "previous arrest histories," according to city police.

Some aspects of the investigation are ongoing, police said. A DEA spokesman could not immediately be reached Friday afternoon.

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